Dunfermline Athletic

Kit Van for The Kit Man

Wednesday, 26th Aug 2015

Mo Hutton, the Pars long serving “kit man” explains new Kit Van will be named in memory of Club Legend, Joe Nelson.

At present, the club does not have a kit van, so plans are being put in place to try and raise enough cash to purchase one, and cover the maintenance and insurance costs for the next two years. The van is to be named “Nelson” in memory of club legend, Joe Nelson and all monies collected will be ring fenced to provide and maintain Nelson for the next few years.

Mo Hutton, the Pars long serving “kit man” explains the idea behind the current fund raising initiative, “the board informed me at the end of last season, that further financial cut backs had to be made as the club faced the reality of a third season in SPFL League One.

"While recognising that a new kit van would be desirable, the club currently has no budget for one, but with the kind support of club sponsor, SRJ Windows we were able to retain the existing mini bus, which can double up as a kit van on away trips, with the exception of Stranraer and Peterhead.

"However, it is not ideal as not all of the kit can fit in it, and first and foremost it is a mini bus, so I have been given permission to approach potential sponsors, as long as it does not compromise any existing club sponsors or any fund raising initiatives the club needs to stay afloat this year. I have been overwhelmed with the support I have received from fans and potential sponsors to date. It is fitting that we should name the van ‘Nelson’ in memory of my dear friend, Joe”

Specific fundraising will take place with a Sportsmanship Brunch planned for 1st November in the Purvis Suite and a Soccer Golf Day (9.30am for coffee and rolls, 10:30 start), on 27th September at Cumbernauld. Cost will be at £120 per team for a three man team plus a player.

Sammi Connell is a volunteer who kindly helps out Mo to prepare for match days. Unlike at other clubs, Mo is not just the ‘kit man’ but also makes the lunch for the players and launders all of the match day and training kit.

Sammi took some time out to explain what it all entails and how it involves taking more than 700 items to matches:-

"On a Friday morning of a home match, all the match kit and hamper gets packed, and the strips get hung up. All that gets moved into the dressing room after the players leave after lunch on Friday. The dressing room is then set up for the players coming in on a Saturday.

"If it is an away game, the procedure is the same but before Mo and I go away on a Friday we need to pack the van so it is ready for the next day. We cannot come in on the morning before an away game and sort everything out, we start sorting things out on a Thursday.

"We have a checklist, and literally go down that. It is not difficult, but it is like a well-oiled machine! You know what you have to do. We need literally everything for match day as you never know what the Scottish weather will throw at you! The under 20 players help with packing the boots and shin pads, then the staff kit gets packed and the players strips.

"Water goes on to the team bus and some of the players have their own personal items of kit, for example Shaun Byrne has his own under armour, Faissal El Bakhtaoui has his own ankle supports. Things like that can be very important for players. If they do not have them then it can affect their minds.

"Forty towels are packed for the players along with towels for the physio. We need to wash and pack the cones and bibs that have been used on a Friday, as well as waiting on the boots to be cleaned. 12 match balls need to be washed and blown up. Ice is made up on the day to go in the physio's big black hamper, it is very heavy.

"For an away game the kit van aims to be at the ground two and a half hours ahead of kick off. This is because some of the changing rooms are small and not all the players kit can be kept together.

"Sometimes we need to put the boots along a ledge, and we then take everything out and put the hampers back in the van, so they are not blocking emergency exits. When the players get off the bus it is just a case of walking in and everything is set up. For trips to Stranraer or Peterhead, the kit has to all go on the team bus.

"The job all starts again after the match. The kit van is back at East End Park and the washing gets underway before the players return."

It may sound like a stock list for setting up a Club Shop but the checklist for the kit van reads like an order to the kit supplier.

Two of each strip (shirts, shorts and socks) for numbers 1-18 & 20 (148 items)
Spare Kit: Nos 2-18 plus one goalie including 40 slips, 30 t shirts, 24 ankle socks, 10 underarmour, 25 tubagrip. (201 items)
Warm up Bag: 30 rain jackets, 30 sweat tops, 10 trousers (70 items)
Towels: 40
Physio Trolley: run on bag, oxygen bag, tub of ice, black hamper. (4 items).
Coaches Kit: 6 bench staff coats (blue), 10 bench players coats plus staff t shirts, trackies, socks, boots. (41 items) Miscellaneous: 30 shin pads, 45 pair boots moulded and studs, tactics board, cones, 30 bibs, 12 match balls, 6 cases of Highland Spring water, music, spare bags. (200 items).

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